From top left, David Brian Stone Sr., 44, of Clayton, Mich,; David Brian… (U.S. Marshall / Associated…)
Reporting from Washington — Nine members of an anti-government militia that posted its warrior exercises on the Internet and allegedly plotted to kill police officers were indicted in Detroit Monday on conspiracy and weapons charges.
The indictment said that members of Hutaree see law enforcement as the enemy and that they planned to kill a police officer, possibly at a traffic stop, and then attack the funeral procession to kill more officers.
U.S. Atty. Barbara McQuade said federal agents moved to arrest the leaders of the group over the weekend because they had discussed carrying out an attack in April.
"The safety of the public and of the law enforcement community demanded intervention at this time," she said.
The group's website refers to the Hutarees as "Christian warriors." It also posted videos of their military-style exercises.
Government officials said they were uncertain of the group's motives and aims.
"This is an example of racial and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society," said Andrew Arena, the FBI special agent in charge. "The FBI takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States."
The leader of the group was among eight persons taken into custody. He is David Brian Stone, 45, of Clayton, Mich. Also indicted were his wife, Tina, and two sons, Joshua and David Jr.
The FBI said they have not arrested Joshua Stone, who is classified as a fugitive.
The federal charges include seditious conspiracy against the government, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence.
It was apparent that the FBI had been monitoring the group for some time. The indictment says they had met on Feb. 20 in Lenawee County in eastern Michigan to plan further operations.
The group also publicized its own militia activities on its website.